March 26, 2007

Although negotiations are on hold, that shouldn't prevent Dale Earnhardt Jr. from having a new deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc. by May. "Absolutely," Max Siegel, the president of Global Operations for DEI, said before Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. --

After a victory in Bristol, Kyle Busch said it was frustrating to drive the Car of Tomorrow, that NASCAR has designed to be cheaper, safer and better for competition. "I'm still not a big fan of these things," Busch said. "I can't stand to drive them." He said the car did not turn easily and had no grip on the track. When it starts to slide, he said, it just keeps sliding, "almost like you're on skis." -- New York Times

The new Car of Tomorrow started a new trend at Bristol. Unlike some of the bump-and-run finishes at Bristol made famous by Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Burton not only refrained from hitting Kyle Busch on the final lap, he backed off enough to let Busch gain control of his Chevrolet as they started down the back straightaway. A track known more for bumping and grinding was suddenly tame, especially during what's normally a furious stretch drive. -- Florida Times-Union

There was one flare-up, after Dale Jarrett was taken out early by a rear-end tag from Matt Kenseth. "This is not the first time he's done something like that," Jarrett fumed. "Everybody has this great vision that Matt Kenseth is this nice guy on the race track, a nice guy away from the track. But he's a rough driver when he doesn't have to be. This is not the first time but it will be the last time. We'll have a discussion." -- The Tennessean

Most drivers say they will know more about the Car of Tomorrow in weeks to come, because Sunday's race was not a good indicator of its performance. At short tracks like this one, where aerodynamics do not play a major role, the car did not make much of a difference. The car will show how it really races when the series goes to a bigger track, like the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway, where the series will race April 21. -- New York Times

Dodge racing boss Mike Accavitti will try to entice Dodge drivers, including Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman, at Daytona next month. Should one win the Daytona 500, the driver will get to choose an SRT vehicle, including the V-10 Viper. -- Detroit News

Greg Biffle got a fifth-place finish Sunday at Bristol, his first top-10 finish of the season in the No. 16 Ford, but the car was found to be too low in postrace inspection. NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said Biffle's car would be taken back to the research and development facility in Concord for more examination. Penalties will be forthcoming early this week. -- Charlotte Observer

All seven Toyota teams are outside the top 35 in car owner points following Sunday's race at Bristol, Tenn., and six of the seven will have to get in next Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Martinsville, Va., on speed. Dale Jarrett is the only Toyota driver with a safety net. He has two past champions provisionals remaining of the six allowed during the year. -- Charlotte Observer

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